Many developed nations are beginning to more fully embrace alternative perspectives on gender, so changes in the way gender differences are processed…or not…are becoming increasingly reflected in the mainstream.
As reported by the Daily Mail, one of the more startling pieces of news on the topic of gender identity to come out recently is the decision by major British retailer John Lewis to altogether remove ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels from children’s clothes as a way to get away from ‘reinforcing gender stereotypes.’
Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear for John Lewis, describes the reasoning behind the company’s decision this way: “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”
Not everyone across the pond agrees the move by John Lewis is a good one. Chris McGovern, a retired school headmaster and chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, a non-profit that advocates for higher standards and more parental choice in the realm of state education, said, “John Lewis is a reputable and admirable retailer and I have no doubt that getting rid of gender labels is well-intentioned. In isolation, one retailer introducing unisex clothing and labels would not be an issue.”
“But by following this fashion to go genderless, I fear they are supporting a wider movement which risks confusing children and foists adult worries on to young people.”
“There is a dangerous social phenomenon occurring of gender identity theft, which says there is no difference between boys and girls when of course there is,” McGovern added.
Of course there is.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large